Antique Singer Decals

Oh, the things people throw away. I found this sad, very old and stripped apart Singer sewing machine at the dump yesterday, left for dead. As crummy as it is, they charged me 5 bucks for it, but I knew it still had a little life left in it. I mean, just look at those gorgeous decals!I lugged it home, took some photos of the decal work and with my amateur-at-best Photoshop skills, pumped up the volume to make some cool vintage graphics for you & me.I was thinking about using them on a piece of scrap leather (images printed onto Dark T-shirt transfer sheet and ironed on) for another wallet or card holder, but I figure you’ve seen enough leather crafts here lately. So I sized them down and printed out the images onto matte photo paper and laminated them with 3M spray adhesive to my little Moleskine sketchbook. I’ll be referring to it as my Singer Sketchbook from now on.

What will you make?

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108 Responses to Antique Singer Decals

  1. #1 - KateB says:

    gorgeous! Why can't I create like this??? 🙂

  2. #3 - Kelly McMaster says:

    Seriously lady! You are incredible with the things you come up with. I love this!! Also pondering aloud if you could somehow transform the sewing machine into a cute lamp of some sort? If anyone could do it, you could! Thanks again for sharing!
    Kelly

  3. #4 - sharon says:

    You're such a genius Ms. Cathe!

  4. #5 - So-Sew Me says:

    Just beautiful

  5. #6 - Donna says:

    Gorgeous!!! Thank you for sharing such beautiful works of art!

  6. #7 - Maria Stahl says:

    Can you imagine throwing something like that AWAY??

    I like your motifs that you rescued from it. Did you use metallic inks or did you fake them? They look shiny!

  7. #8 - Katie B. says:

    That's so cool, Cathe!

  8. #9 - Sarah says:

    Wow, can you imagine how beautiful this was when it was brand spankin' new? What a beauty it still is. Thanks for the graphics. You're amazing!

  9. #10 - Terri's ThreadArt says:

    Thanks for sharing such a treasure!
    GREAT idea!!!

  10. #11 - Lisa says:

    Thanks for sharing! Your photoshop skillz are amazing!

  11. #12 - charlotte says:

    sheesh, you are possibly the smartest, cleverest and coolest designer-crafter out there. every single thing you make! is completely fabulous!
    no boundaries.
    thanks!

  12. #13 - Caity says:

    Thank you for sharing! The machine you have is referred to by collectors as a "Red Eye" (because of the decals).

    It looks like it could be an early Model 66 to me, but did you know that you can search a database and find out exactly when it was made?

    Just go to and type in the serial number (at the base of the pillar on the machine, on that little plate) at http://www.singerco.com/support/serial_numbers.html and you'll know!

  13. #14 - Cathe Holden says:

    Wow! Thanks a million Caity! You're a smarty-pants, in a very good way!

  14. #15 - Patti's Scrapinings says:

    Ok, you are awesome! I have a similar looking old singer myself and I never thought to take a pic and photoshop it:( I am actually using the sewing machine as a cool door stop right now:)

  15. #16 - holyoke says:

    Amazing, I love what you have done, clever! What have you done with the Singer sewing machine?

  16. #17 - Rook No. 17 says:

    Unbelievable! You never fail to impress me with your creativity and generosity!

    Jenn @ Rookno17.blogspot.com

  17. #18 - CreativeBusyHands-Scrapbook Freebies Search says:

    Wow! It looks amazing. I use to sew on a Singer like that when I visited my grandma. I wonder what happenned to the machine.

  18. #19 - SharDon Exclusives says:

    I'm telling you that you are one creative lady! Beautiful artwork and the book is gorgeous! You inspire me! I love coming to see what comes next…Sharon

  19. #20 - Caty says:

    wao! great job! beautifully made

  20. #21 - My name is PJ. says:

    I'm going to have do some thesaurus research to find more adjectives to describe your ROCK STAR creativity! Damn, Girl! You're the best!

  21. #22 - Loddelina says:

    Amazing! Best 5 dollars ever spent…
    I wonder if you could clean or polish the singer to make the colours stand out more – it would make a gorgeous background for taking pictures of your textile crafting projects!

  22. #23 - Randi says:

    Geez, I own that same sewing machine…only in slightly better shape!! I've always loved the graphics and using them on the journal was an inspired idea! You rock!

  23. #24 - fleamarkettrixie says:

    How do you not have your own tv craft show, once again you amaze me. Move over Martha, here's Cathe……

  24. #25 - .:Carola }i{:. says:

    You so should be on TV.
    Lovely stuff!

  25. #26 - Jill says:

    Cathe, I have 6 sewing machines for the beauty of them. Two are on display, 3 of them are rough like yours and now I know what I can do with them!! I've been wanting to take them apart to display just a piece but photographing them might be easier. The last one one I just bought and it is in great condition and get this–it's PINK!! Has a big time old "smell" so is out in the garage airing yet!

  26. #27 - Robin says:

    What a great piece Cathe! Love the look of that old sewing machine!

  27. #28 - cindi says:

    Gorgeous witha capital "G"! I recently saw a similar machine (cleaned up) at a yard sale for $15 and kick myself for not buying it. What was I thinking?!? Anyway, nice job. Love the graphics.

  28. #29 - Lisa says:

    I was really moved by your post.

    My grandmother was deeply in love with her Singer sewing machine, which I inherited. Unfortunately, I just keep it in my lounge next to the entrance – my husband keeps leaving things on it… Grhhh…

    Any ideas how to make it nice without removing any piece from that? I'm really connected with it and I kind want it untouched, you know…

    Thnx!

  29. #30 - jen says:

    That sketchbook ROCKS! I want one!

  30. #31 - MonkeyDogStudio says:

    Your decals are gorgeous, but I especially envy that you have that singer machine. It's beautiful.

  31. #32 - NicNacManiac says:

    WOW…such talent…thanks for sharing and rescuing this treasure from obscurity!!

  32. #33 - casserole says:

    Those decals (and your journal) are GORGEOUS!! Thank you for seeing the old machine with your artist's eyes and creating such lovely graphics.

    I posted a link on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/lookie-what-she-made-journal-with-antique-sewing-machine-graphics/2009/10/03/
    (link will go live on October 3 at 11:00 am CST)

  33. #34 - Sabine says:

    Gorgeous ! I love your leather projects.

  34. #35 - Elisa says:

    That is so awesome! And your blog is beautiful, my first visit..I'll need to look around more! 🙂

  35. #36 - kelly says:

    Love, love, LOVE this! Beautiful work!

  36. #37 - RosyRevolver says:

    You're not normal, Cathe. I just want you to know that. Not normal at all. NOBODY can be THIS creative!
    xoxoxo

  37. #38 - Fixerupper says:

    The thought that someone would throw that machine out rends my soul. It'd take a lot of work, but I'm betting that little fella could be made to run again.

    I love your idea and am seriously thinking about taking my camera with me next time I visit my Mom. She's got a machine from the turn of the century with an awesome "Ancient Egypt" motif.

  38. #39 - Tamarinara says:

    I love your idea. I myself have 2 old singers, one to look at and one is my industrial sewing machine. They are so beautiful!

  39. #40 - Creative Crafter UK says:

    Beautiful – a nice idea – I'll always look at old sewing machines in a new light now!

  40. #41 - WhiteStone says:

    I have that same Singer 66 in a treadle cabinet. Given me by a great friend after she found out I learned to sew on one exactly like it. Mine is named Elizabeth Red-Eye after one of her grandmothers.

  41. #42 - Debilou~Mississippi Mama says:

    How in the world do you come up with this stuff?? I'm in awe every time. Now If i can just figure out what to do with some of these graphics you share??? Thanks

  42. #43 - foobella says:

    I follow over 300 blogs.

    You, my dear, are the most inspirational blogger in the bunch.

    I am like a little kid each day hoping for a new post from you.

    No pressure there, right? =)

  43. #44 - Rebekah says:

    AWESOME!! Who would take a thing of beauty like that to the DUMP??? Some people (unlike you!) have absolutely no imagination.

  44. #45 - Nerissa Alford says:

    seriously, can you be any cooler 🙂
    nerissa

  45. #46 - Coloradolady says:

    Oh, do you sell these books? I love this and would love to have a journal for sewing just like this…you are so CREATIVE!

  46. #47 - brooklynechaos says:

    Thank you so much. These are awesome!

  47. #48 - Anonymous says:

    You've been featuered in makezine.com newsletter and thanks to them, I found out about them!

    I have always loved Singer's designs, but have never thought of taking photos of them – Thank you very much for them!

  48. #49 - artycrafty says:

    wonderful blog! Came over from craft Magazine. I'm definately bookmaking this site!

    love the decals and the way you did your buttons below….. You inspire me!

  49. #50 - Nancy says:

    Beautiful work with the old decals off the Model 66 Singer 'redhead'. I collect old machines and have one of those with almost perfect decals. If you want to learn how to clean up, and even fix to work, the old machines go to http://www.treadleon.net.
    Amazing work! Thanks

  50. #51 - Anonymous says:

    You did a great job on these. Many of us Singer "Redeye" collectors like to restore the machines. Some are repainted and the decals are nice to have and have been impossible to get. You can see a couple of my perfect ones here on my Flikr… http://www.flickr.com/photos/sew_mach_tech/
    Again, great job!
    Rick

  51. #52 - RickE says:

    You did a great job on these. Many of us Singer model 66 "Redeye" collectors like to restore the machines. Some are repainted and the decals are nice to have and have been impossible to get. You can see a couple of my perfect ones here on my Flikr… http://www.flickr.com/photos/sew_mach_tech/
    Again, great job!
    Rick

  52. #53 - treadlefish says:

    Nice job! Actually, the machine itself doesn't look too bad except for the rust. Couple days in a kerosene bath and replacement parts, it just might sew again.

    Check out http://www.ismacs.net if you need more sewing machine inspiration. Lots of us crazy collectors out there :)!

  53. #54 - Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, I have enjoyed browsing all of your posts! I also love all those old cards and graphics and am amazed at all the wonderful ideas you come up with to use them. You are an a inspiration to me. Thanks again, you are always wonderful to visit!

  54. #55 - Cynthia says:

    Its beautiful! What a great idea. I have several old machines hanging around that I just can't get rid of because they are too lovely.

  55. #56 - gaby braun says:

    Gorgeous what you have here and thanks for all the beautiful goodies!

  56. #57 - Queen of Dreamsz says:

    Totally cool!! So glad you rescued the old lady…they all need to be rescued by someone that appreciates their beauty. :0)

    Great transformation…photoshop is so amazing.

    I just tried to add myself to your follow list and Blogger is being stubborn right now. I'll try again later.

    Have a great day,
    Stephanie

  57. #58 - Miss B says:

    Goah Cathe this is too amazing! Where does your brain go? Who would EVER think of such wonderfulness?

  58. #59 - Mitzi says:

    I often come across old sewing machines at auctions and estate sales and have admired their graphics, never imagining that they could be reproduced in such a creative way! Thanks for the dose of inspiration!

  59. #60 - Linda says:

    These are gorgeous…I can't wait to see what you do with the sewing machine!

  60. #61 - prutsels says:

    All I can say is THANKS! For the inspiration, for the files….
    You made my day.

  61. #62 - Sandra says:

    Came across your site whislt I was trying to price up my old singer, sadly it,s time to part company):
    Needless to say you are now on my favourites, you are very talented and have inspired me to get back into my crafts. Thank you.
    Sandra Lancashire, England

  62. #63 - Arrah says:

    Cathe, you are like Dr. Frankenstein! Seriously, what are you? 🙂 Imagine that, giving/sourcing another life from it. Thank ou so much for sharing it!

  63. #64 - Gene Garate says:

    Cathe,
    I stumbled on to your site looking for decals for singer sewing machines. Have you considered making replacement decals for these machines? I would be interested if you did. I restore these old machines and so far have been unable to find anyone that can make them. Several of the old machines that I own have decals that are worn away. Let me know.

    Thanks
    Gene

    • #65 - Cathe Holden says:

      Hi Gene,

      I actually get asked about reproducing Singer decals a lot since writing this post. However, I imagine there would be a licensing issue involved as the decals are likely trademarked images from a company that still exists. Also, it’s just not something I’m interested in pursuing. But thanks so much for your visit and ideas.

    • #66 - Dave Cates says:

      Great Work Cathe!

      Gene,
      I have digitally restored the full set of “redeye” decals and have petitioned Singer for permission to reprint them. I’m currently awaiting their reply. Send your Email address to C8screek@msn.com and I’ll put you on the list.
      Dave

  64. #67 - julio Cesar says:

    want to buy decals Singer Tiffany

  65. #68 - Gila says:

    WOW! this brings back memories. This was my first sewing machine, bought used for $25 in 1972. It could only sew forwards, so at the beginning and end of each seam I had to lift the presser foot, turn around the fabric, sew a little, then turn it around again.
    Then I eventually graduated to another machine and gave this away to my friend. Why did I do that????

  66. #69 - outofdodge08@yahoo.com says:

    How do you get them off an old Singer?

  67. #70 - Michael Ebacher says:

    Love the work! would you share the files? Mike

  68. #71 - Cheryl Rosenwald says:

    This is a wonderful idea to retain some of history! These decals are impossible to find. I myself have several singer machines with different designs on each one. You have given me ideas to retain these designs on other projects. Thank you!

  69. #72 - Noy McCollum says:

    What a timeless masterpiece. If I had one I’d love it forever!

  70. #73 - Bev Backerman says:

    I just bought one just like this today and gave only $60.00 it works and yes the art work is beautiful… I like what you created.

  71. #74 - Linda VanSyckle says:

    I am trying to find replacement decals for a singer 127 that has the memphis or the egyption design. Anyway you could help reproduce those.

  72. #75 - jim says:

    Beautiful work! Do you have high resolution pictures of the decals? I would like to put them on machine identical to yours. Thanks.

  73. #76 - chris labrise says:

    I have the same exact machine with the same decals. I dont have photo shop.Could you make a complete set of decals for me,and I would definitely be more than happy to compansate you. And My Grandmother,rest her soul,would thank you

  74. #77 - Hollie Ragle says:

    I have the same model of Singer sewing machine (66) and would like to have new decals for it. Where could I find these decals?

  75. #78 - Darla Hall says:

    Hi Cathe,
    Nice work on this old Singer… I restore furniture in Houston, Texas and I always have sewing machines that need to be restored.. I have the same machine as above, and in need of the decals for it so i can restore it… Any Sugestions?
    Thanks
    Darla 🙂

  76. #79 - Joseph Sheridan says:

    hi i have just taken charge of my late fathers old leather singer sewing machine which i am restoring and i am looking for the singer transfares or decals for same any ideas .Thanks

  77. #80 - birsen says:

    Hi. ;I am writing you from Turkey. My mum is sewing with this machine. She doesn’t what mu electrical one. It is beatiful.

    • #81 - Michelle Fraser says:

      Hello there,
      We are making a series of short programmes in Turkey in which we restore important items for women in Turkey. Does your mother’s sewing machine need restoring? If so, please get in touch. We will be filming the restoration of several different functional items and will pay a small fee to our filmed subjects.
      Kind regards and I look forward to hearing from you.
      Michelle Fraser
      Gundog Media

  78. #82 - shirley-wood-prigmore says:

    can i buy old decals for my modle 27 singer sewing machine from 1902 ?? reproductions any where out there ????? help……..

  79. #83 - Christine says:

    I’m going to make necklaces…those are so cool! I have a Singer 66 from 1920 with those same red eye decals. Love them! Thanks for sharing!

  80. #84 - josep chiralt lloris says:

    I am restoring a Singer 15 (from 1891) and I need to know if you have decals . Specifically, my machine has decals of daisies. If you want to see an identical machine, you can find it on this link:

    http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/decals/domestics/painted_daisies.html

    I await your response.
    Yours sincerely

  81. #85 - debbie e says:

    glad some of us still love our antique sewing machine my sister just bought me a 1910 singer in a cabinet for $5.00 i simply love it i will be resore it to get the beauty back in it a lot of the decal has rub off wish i could find a way to order them and replace them other than that the sewing machine sews great

  82. #86 - Tosca says:

    These are seriously beautiful, thanks for sharing! Keep up the good work you have some really interesting ideas on your site.

  83. #87 - William burnell says:

    Was very excited when I saw your website, & wanted to know if the decals for the Singer ”Red Eye” sewing machine are available to purchase. Saw that you really ”souped up” & rejuevenated those colors to look new ! I restored a similar sewing macine that was in much better shape than the one you had pictured as well as table & treadle restoration. I would be looking for all the decals that were on the machine, even on the collar near the balance wheel. I look foward to your responce. Thank you Bill Burnell

  84. #88 - JOSEPH SHERIDAN says:

    Hi I am just after looking at your old Singer dacals and what would be the cost to supply and post a full set to Ireland to include “SINGER” letters as well.Thank you. J S.

  85. #89 - Hughie Gragg says:

    Hi Cathe, You have done a great job on the graghics, I love them for an old singer sewing machine. I was stationed in Germany in 1967-1969 and I brought back a 1950 Singer machine that was made in Scottland and after its been stored away for 44 years I decided to get it out and try to restore it. It belonged to the Battalion Taylor there and I ended up with. Well its missing the needle and the bobbin housing. So I decided to buy me another one and go from there. The other day I bought a 1924 electric machine, think they call it the Red Eye. I have seen what you have done with the decals. If you ever get to the point that you can sell these besure to let me know. I would bne interested. If you have any suggestions, please let me know what to do. Thanks. Hughie

  86. #90 - Hughie Gragg says:

    I wish there was a way to put that decal on my old 1950 201-2 Singer sewing machine or somewhere I could find that decal to put on it. If you have any ideas let me know. Thanks and you do a great job.

  87. #91 - Tom Rogers says:

    Wondering if these patters are available in Decals for that same Model of Singer?
    Tom

  88. #92 - Cathleen Bowne says:

    Wow! I wish you could recreate the decals for my memphis bullet bobbin machine. My decals chipped off when cleaning the machine. It had been in the garage where an elderly gentleman smoked his cigars and there was no cleaning fluid that would take off the layers of smoke that didn’t also take off the decals.

  89. #93 - Duane Hampton says:

    W-O-W, THAT SUM’S IT UP, FANTASTIC. CAN U TELL ME IF I COULD COPY THE IMAGE OF THE SINGER, AND TAKE IT TO SOMEONE THAT PRODUCES DECALS AND HAVE THEM WORK FROM YOUR PICTURE, OR WOULD THAT BE INFRINGEMENT? I’M ATTEMPTING TO RESTORE AN OLD SINGER MODEL 66 “RED EYE” AND PLAN TO STRIP THE FLAT BED, REPAINT, AND REPLACE THE DECALS. PLEASE ADVISE.

    DUANE

  90. #94 - Charmy says:

    Hi Cathy,

    just want to ask the step on how “laminated them with 3M spray adhesive”.. thanks!

  91. #95 - Wilda McLaughlin says:

    I am restoring a Singer red eye from 1919. I am looking for a way to restore some of the decals . I don’t want to make it look new but where the decals are totally gone I would like to do some improvement. Is there a way I could use what you have made to do that? would you sell some if it is possible to use them?

  92. #96 - C. says:

    You can purchase decals for many Singer models at keelersales.com. They have the Red Eye, Tiffany, 99k, etc. They’re done with metallic paint…nice!

  93. #97 - Bill Mian says:

    Can you make these into decals so I can use them on my restoration project for my Singer 128K Thanks

  94. #98 - TONIO says:

    ciao Cathe,
    ti scrivo dalla Puglia ->Italy, sto restaurando la macchina da cucire di mia nonna: ho bisogno delle decalcomanie adesive.Puoi aiutarmi?

  95. #99 - Charlene V. Miale says:

    Where can one find restoration a manuel on the “Redhead?” I picked up a 1910 Singer 66; and would like resources as to how to restore it and where to find parts.
    Please reply, Lee County, Florida.

  96. #100 - Sam Brown says:

    Wow that is fabulous! Why can’t I do this? Haha. You are talented.

  97. #101 - Joseph Hebert says:

    Can I have your email address, I need to ask you a question about a decal that I cannot copy paste in this format

  98. #102 - Joseph Hebert says:

    your email address,

  99. #103 - Betty says:

    I have the same machine and need to redo the decals. Can I purchase a set of decals from you or ?

  100. #105 - m.linh says:

    I liked your article right from the start. will often come to you. great article. thanks for sharing

  101. #106 - MUHAMMAD TAREEN says:

    Hi first of all you have done a great job..
    so you took pictures of the decals and then refined it through photoshop? what type of paper you used ? and is this can be pasted on singer machines itself or just on paper and fabric?
    thanks
    Muhammad

  102. #107 - Chris Fagan says:

    But how did singer produce these decals especially in gold these transfers were produced in the 1870s 80s yet I still have no idea, I dont seem to be able to source gold metallic waterslide decal papers

  103. #108 - Gabrielle says:

    It’s great.
    Thank you so much!